Summary from Goodreads
Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love.
When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancé would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined.
A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those who she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life that she had so adamantly tried to escape.
Promises is the first book of The Syrenka Series trilogy following Eviana and her friends through the perils of growing up in a discrete world that inherently threatens human society.
If only I was born a mermaid. ‘sigh’ I really enjoyed this book. I haven’t read any mermaid books before so when this opportunity came forth I was excited. I really enjoyed this story. I give this story four stars.
In the world that Amber created, mermaids live on land like you and me but when they enter water they transform into a mermaid. This is also how the selkies (shapeshifters who turn into seals) are. If only the Little Mermaid had lived in this world she would have been happy.
World - I love the world created by Amber Garr. The descriptions are vivid and the scenery beautiful. The different mythological creatures in this story was brought together masterfully. I love a book that reminds about all the different creatures that you have heard mentioned but you dont always hear alot about. In this story there are naiads and water sprites in addition to the selkies and mermaids mentioned.
Characters – I really like Kain in this story. I think he is my favorite. He seems like an awesome guy and he is totally in love with Eviana. He seems like he will be a good leader for his clan. Brendan seems like a nice guy but it doesn’t seem like Eviana and Brendan would be good together permanently. Who knows though? I am kind of on the fence for Eviana. I like her at times and other times I want to shake her and ask what she thinks she is doing. She can’t make up her mind about the two boys who love her and ends up hurting them both. She is sometimes hurtful and selfish but then again so are some teens as well so this does make her seem more realistic. I must bring up Eviana’s mother in all of this also. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t prepare your daughter and tell her what is going on in the mermaid world. She leaves her daughter completely ignorant and unprepared. Eviana is the next in line for clan leadership of her mothers clan. Once she marries Kain she would help him run his clan and her younger sister would be next in line for their mothers clan. Towards the end though you really start to see Eviana's character develop towards becoming a great adult and leader.
Plot – The story keeps you reading and interested. I didn't want to put it down but sadly had to go to work. You are introduced to the world as Eviana knows it at the beginning then you begin to find out other details that she was not aware of as she learns them also. Eviana was not told about a possible war brewing or who she should stay away from. She has to wing it at times. When Eviana goes to the Cotillion she is presented with Kain as her fiancée. She starts to find out that she is unprepared for the politics that go along with being a leader as she was not told anything. She encounters some strange mermaids there but also makes new friends. When tragedy strikes Kain’s family the marriage is moved up and Eviana is sent into a panic. The decisions that were made by Eviana and Brendan seemed realistic to me for the problems they faced. When Brendan is injured Eviana must turn to her past friends for help. When tragedy also strikes Eviana she really starts to shape up. I think I will like her better in the second book. The ending of this book I felt was good it wrapped a lot of things up and at the same time left you waiting for the next book. It was a good story and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.I would recommend this book and this series to anyone who loves mermaids or just a good fantasy story. I am looking forward to book two in The Syrenka Series, Betrayal. Have you read this book yet leave a comment let me know what you thought or if you haven't read it leave a comment anyway and let me hear your thoughts.